NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In an unprecedented move, the Archdiocese of New York is launching a new ancestry tool to help the faithful uncover their roots.

For the first time ever, thousands of historical records dating back to the 1700s are available at the click of a button.

“The sacraments of the church are the most important parts of a person’s life within the church especially baptism and marriage, which these records record,” Archdiocese Director of Archives Kate Feighery said.

Feighery spent the last six years combing through thousands of old ledgers to confirm more than eight million sacramental records within the archdiocese, which are now posted through the website

“The importance of these records can’t be understated,” Feighery said.

Accessing the website costs around $20 a month.

  1. NY Archdiocese is partnering with a commercial enterprise to sell access to sacramental records to the descendants of deceased church members.

    Even Mormons provide free access to most religious genealogy records.

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